ANDREW Bolt is right (The Advertiser, 22/12/10) to ask whether tougher legal measures against asylum seekers do in fact represent a more compassionate policy, by reducing the flow of refugees and thus minimising innocent deaths at sea.
But he fails to even acknowledge one glaring counterpoint: that while tougher laws may reduce the number of people getting on boats and potentially drowning in our waters, they will not save those people from the deadly economic, social, cultural or political hardships that cause them to flee in the first place.
Tougher policies may satisfy the self-righteousness of Australian conservatives and ensure the problem does not reach our shores, but in overall terms, they are unlikely to save lives.
BEN ADAMS, Park Holme.
The Advertiser, Dec 27, 2010.